Mid-term Evaluation of the project Comunidades Educativas y protectoras para Niños, Niñas, Adolescentes y Jóvenes (NNAJ) en Contextos de Violencia en Honduras y El Salvador
In the second half of 2021, IWORDS Consulting was commissioned by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to carry out the Mid-term Evaluation of the project Comunidades Educativas y protectoras para Niños, Niñas, Adolescentes y Jóvenes (NNAJ) en Contextos de Violencia en Honduras y El Salvador (‘Educational and Protective Communities for Children, Adolescents and Young People in Contexts of Violence in Honduras and El Salvador’).
The violence perpetrated by maras, gangs, criminal organizations associated with drug trafficking and members of the Public Force of North Central America (NCA), has had a humanitarian impact with strong implications for education in both Honduras and El Salvador. Beyond gang-related violence, other situations of violence (OSV) that children, adolescents, and the educational community face, impose barriers to access the educational system and promote school dropout. In this context, the project seeks to promote the access and permanence of the population at risk in safe learning spaces. Through the implementation of strategies that promote the development of skills, the acquisition of key knowledge and the active participation of the community, NRC and its implementing partners aim to contribute to the creation of safe environments that allow children, adolescents, and young people to return to school and increase individual self-protection.
IWORDS Consulting evaluated the actions that were carried out under the project in both countries between January 2020 and June 2021, based on the criteria of relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency. Using our participatory methodologies, the team involved key informants from the different levels of the intervention throughout the process. Apart from the desk review, semi-structured interviews and unstructured interviews, interactive focus group discussions, and workshops with the implementers in each intervention site were conducted. Moreover, a test was applied with the beneficiaries to assess the changes in knowledge, attitudes and practices taking the baseline as the critical reference point.
In addition to rating the performance of the intervention according to each of the evaluation criteria and the questions collectively defined at the beginning of the process, our team formulated recommendations to guide the present and future course of the project based on the main findings.
IWORDS Consulting clearly understands both the importance of designing a strong and participatory methodology to collect high quality data, and the need for the meaningful use of such data for improved programming purposes.